Saturday, April 30, 2011


***I was thinking this morning about how writing in my journal could possibly be the best way to chronicle what the Lord has taught me through this time; what if lovely blog-readers don't want to hear all about being sick? But alas, I was made for speed, and while I love keeping a journal - the look of pages filled with writing and memories of the sweet touch of the Lord - the fact that my hand can't loop letters as fast as my brain thinks of words constantly frustrates me. Typing lets my fingers fly. I suppose a balance between the two is not so bad, eh?***

Imagine floating with ocean on every side. You know you want to get to the far-off island, the sandy shore, but you have no paddle, and you know you can't swim all that way. All you can see is water, all around you. The temptation is to succumb to hopelessness, to the fear that because you cannot pull yourself, you shall never arrive. Wind is beginning to blow the blanket around you into hills then mountains of rushing energy.

And then, in a moment, you realize that you are not on the flimsy raft you thought was your seat. All of a sudden, you don't need a paddle. No, no. You're on a sturdy craft, with sureness in its path, leaving loneliness in its wake. There is a Man in the stern, with His arms outstretched, and you hear Him say, "Peace, be still..." and you know. You know. This is not only your journey, it is His, and He is the great Navigator.

I remember the moment, laying in my bed, and all of a sudden knowing I had a choice about what to believe. I am made to tell the ends of the earth about the glory of the Son of God, but right now it's hard to walk down the stairs - how will I get to the nations?

In the midst of sickness, it is so tempting to believe that maybe this is what you are, this will define you. I have had so many conversations with people who have been through chronic illness; to be perfectly honest, that theme of "One day, I just couldn't get out of bed" is my worst fear, even though over the past week or two I have noticed a significant difference in the way I feel. The past few days, I've rolled out of bed, walked to the bathroom, and breathed a sigh of thankfulness that I was able to get up. When my days began being defined by how out of breath I get walking up the stairs, tunnel vision started to set in.

Praise God, His light breaks through. In my heart, these five months have turned from a battle with illness to a battle for my calling, my destiny. Will I be like Abraham, who did not consider his body, which was good as dead (and my goodness, that's a worse situation than I'm in!) but held fast to the promise of God? Do I truly believe that it is God, the KING, who has declared me to be a healer in His power and a messenger? And if God is truly the one who has said it, is it not unchangeable, firm, an unwavering promise? It is impossible for God to lie. What measly little virus can get in the way of the everlasting word of God?

As it turned out, this battle with unbelief began before I got sick, but the physical struggle brought the internal one into the light. I had begun to believe I was "just" a girl, "just" an employee, "just" a story. In the swirl of busyness, I forgot the goal I was working towards, the high calling being spoken from heaven. God has been lifting my eyes to see that I cannot forget, I cannot be satisfied with something less than His fullness.

So I stand, and I know that I don't have to swim to my calling, but I have to believe. Belief. Oh, my friends, unbelief is a liar, a thief. Do not let it steal from you - whatever it is whispering to you, do not put your trust in anything other than the faithfulness of God. If He has said you are Esther, or Abraham, or Joseph, then you are. No matter what the sickness, what the past, what the brokenness.

No sickness can change the unchangeable word of God. No hardship can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, my Lord.

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